, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Seasonal variation in exposure frequency and concentration levels of aflatoxins and ochratoxins in urine samples of boys and girls

  • Felixtina E. Jonsyn-Ellis


Urine samples from children in Sierra Leone (134 boys and 110 girls), were collected during the dry season. During the rainy season samples were collected from 97 boys and 93 girls. Analysis of the dry season samples, revealed that, with the exception of one boy, all children had detectable amounts of aflatoxins and/or ochratoxins in their urine. Similarly, with the exception of four children (two from each sex), rainy season urine samples also contained these two mycotoxins. There were significant differences in the frequency of exposure to some mycotoxins: ochratoxin A (OTA), p < 0.01;4-hydroxyochratoxin A (4R-OTA), p < 0.002; aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), p < 0.04;aflatoxicol (AFL), p < 0.03; aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), p < 0.04 . There were also significant differences in the levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), (p < 0.05) and AFB2, (p < 0.02) detected in dry season samples. Stratification of these results according to season and sex, has indicated significant differences with respect to 4R-OTA (p < 0.04) and AFB1 (p < 0.02). The results of this study show that in Sierra Leone, children are frequently and constantly exposed to both aflatoxins and ochratoxins.

aflatoxin children dry season ochratoxin rainy season Sierra Leone urine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Coursaget P, Maupus P, Goudeau A, Chiron J, Drucker J, Denis F, Diop-Mar I. Primary hepatocellular carcinoma in inter-tropical Africa: relationship between age and hepatitis B virus etiology. J Natl Cancer Inst 1980; 65: 687.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Van Rensburg SJ. Cook-Mozaffari P, Van Schalkwyk DJ, Van der Watt, JJ, Vincent TJ, Purchase IF. Hepatocellular carcinoma and dietary aflatoxin in Mozambique and Transkei. Br J Cancer 1985; 51: 713–726.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wild CP, Shrestha SM, Anwar WA, Montesano, R. Field studies of aflatoxin exposure, metabolism and induction of genetic alterations in relation to HBV infection and hepatocellular carcinoma in the Gambia and Thailand. Toxicol Lett 1992; 64: 455–461.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alpert ME, Hutt MSR, Wogan GN, Davidson,CS. Association between aflatoxin content of food and hepatoma frequency in Uganda. Cancer 1971; 28: 253–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bulatao-Jayme J, Almers EM, Castro CA, Jordeleza TR, Salamat LA. A case control dietary study of primary liver cancer risk from aflatoxin exposure. Int J Epidemiol 1982; 11: 112–119.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Autrup H, Selemet T, Wakhisi I, Wasunna A. Aflatoxin exposure measured by urinary excretion of aflatoxin B1-quanine adduct and hepatitis B virus infection in areas with different liver cancer incidence in Kenya. Cancer Res 1987; 47: 3430–3433.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Groopman JD, Cain LG, Kensler TW. Aflatoxin exposure in human population. Measurement and relationship to cancer. CRC Crit Rev Toxicol 1988; 19: 113–145.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ross RK, Yuan J-M, Yu MC, Wogan GN, Quan, G-S, Tu TT, Groopman JD, Gao Y-T, Henderson BE. Urinary aflatoxin biomarkers and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Lancet 1992; 331: 943–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hatch MC, Chen C-J, Levin B, Ji B-T, Yang G-Y, Hsu, SW, Wang LW, Hsieh L-L, Santella RM. Urinary aflatoxin levels, Hepatitis B virus infection and Hepatocellular carcinoma in Taiwan. Int J Cancer 1993; 54: 931–934.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jonsyn FE. Seedborne fungi of sesame (Sesamum indicum L) in Sierra Leone and their potential aflatoxin/ochratoxin production. Mycopathologia 1988; 104: 123–127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jonsyn FE. Fungi associated with selected fermented foods in Sierra Leone. MIRCEN Journal 1989; 5: 457–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jonsyn FE. Mycological contamination of ogiri (fermented Sesame seeds) during production in Sierra Leone. Mycopathologia 1990; 110: 113–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jonsyn FE, Lahai GP. Mycotoxic flora and mycotoxins in smoke-dried fish from Sierra Leone. Die Nahrung 1992; 36:485–489.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jonsyn FE., Maxwell SM. Detection of ochratoxin A and aflatoxin in food samples from Sierra Leone. In: Creepy EE, Castegnaro M, Dirheimer G. eds. International Symposium on Human ochratoxicosis and associated pathologies in Africa and developing countries. INSERM John Libbey & Co. 1993; 31: Sup.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Krogh P. Mycotoxic porcine nephropathy: a possible model for Balkan Endemic Nephropathy. In: Pacher A. ed. Endemic Nephropathy. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Endemic Nephropathy. Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia 1974; pp. 266–270.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bacha H, Maaroufi K, Achour A, Hammami F, Elouze F, Creppy EE. Oxchratoxines et ochratosicoses humaines en Tunisie. In Creppy EE, Castegnaro M, Dirheimer G. eds. Human ochratoxicosis and its pathologies. Colleque INSERM 1993; 231: 111–122.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Khalef A, Zidane G, Charif A, Gharbi A, Tadjerouna M, Betbeder M, Creppy EE. Ochratoxicoses humaines en Algerie. In: Creppy EE, Castegnaro M. Dirheimer G. eds. Human ochratoxicosis and its pathologies. Colleque INSERM 1995; 231: 123–128.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kane A, Diop N, Diack TS. Natural occurrence of ochratoxin A in food and Feedstuffs in Senegal. In: Castegnaro M, Plestina R, Dirheimer G, Chernozemsky N, Bartsch H. eds. Mycotoxins, Nephropathy and Urinary Tract Tumours. IARC Scientific Publications 1991; No. 115 Lyon. International Agency for Research on Cancer.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hendrickse RG. Renal disease in childhood in Africa. In: Hendrickse RG. ed. Paediatrics in the Tropics. Oxford University Press 1981; New York, pp. 185–199.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Groopman JD, Hall AS, Whittle H, Hudson GJ, Wogan GN, Montesano R, Wild CP. Molecular dosimetry of aflatoxin N7-quanine in human urine obtained in the Gambia, West Africa. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1992; 1: 221–227.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bean TA, Yourtee DM, Akande B, and Ogunlewe J. Aflatoxin metabolites in the urine of Nigerians: Comparison of chromatographic methods. J Toxicol Toxin Reviews 1989; 8: 43–52.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Coulter JBA, Hendrickse RG, Lamplugh SM, Macfarlene SBJ, Moody JB, Omer MIA, Suliman GI, Williams TE. Aflatoxins and kwashiorkor: clinical studies in Sudanese children. Trans Roy Soc Trop Med Hyg 1986; 80: 945–951.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    De Vries HR., Lamplugh SM, Hendrickse RG. Aflatoxin and kwashiorkor in Kenya: a hospital based study in a rural area of Kenya. Ann Trop Paediatr 1987; 7: 249–257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nyathi CB, Mutiro CF, Hasler JA, Chetsanga CJ. A survey of urinary aflatoxin in Zimbabwe. Int J Epidemiol 1987; 16: 516–519.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhu J-Q, Zhang LS, Hu X, Xiao Y, Chen JS, Xu Y-C, Fremy J, Chu FS. Correlation of dietary aflatoxin B1 levels with ex40 cretion of aflatoxin M1 in human urine. Cancer Res. 1987; 47: 1848–1852.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Stormer FC, Kolsaker P, Holm H, Rogstad, S, Elling F. Metabolism of ochratoxin B and its possible effects upon the metabolim and toxicity of ochratoxin A in rats. Appl Environ Microbiol 1985; 49: 1108–1112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Groopman JD, Jiaqi Z, Danahue PR, Pikui A, Lisheng Z, Chen J-S, Wogan GN. Molecular dosimetry of urinary aflatoxin-DNA adducts in people living in Guangxi Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China. Cancer Res 1992; 52: 45–52.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    UNICEF. The children and women of Sierra Leone: An analysis of their situation. 1989; 1: 1–96Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jonsyn FE. Aflatoxins and Ochratoxins: Their occurrence in body fluids of children and mothers in Sierra Leone. Ph.D. Thesis University of Liverpool, UK. 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felixtina E. Jonsyn-Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Allied Health SciencesUniversity of Sierra LeoneFreetownSierra Leone

Personalised recommendations